Securing paid, meaningful employment for our graduates is a pillar of the Next Steps vision. Career exploration and job training are driven by each student’s interests and plans for the future.
Career development occurs in and outside of the classroom. Within our Career Technology courses, students have the opportunity to explore career fields with career assessments and guided activities using the internet. Students also develop skills around job searching, developing resumes, completing applications, and interviewing skills. Students begin their career development experiences through career awareness and exploration activities, which include job shadowing rotations and industry tours covering all sixteen career clusters. Additionally, all students complete internships as part of their program requirements. These internships help refine career goals, develop transferable job skills, and gain employability skills. Each student graduates with valuable job skills and a resume of work experience from a variety of internship sites.
Students have access to job coach support at their internships. Job coaches work alongside students as they learn required job tasks and continue to develop soft skills. These coaches eventually fade out so that students are working completely independently utilizing natural supports in the workplace .
As a four-year program, we plan to expand our career development initiative by:
- Developing more intensive, paid internships for upperclassmen.
- Offering vocational trade options through a partnership with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) .
Employment Outcomes Celebration - 91% of Next Steps graduates have paid employment.
For a list of past internship sites and places our students are currently employed, click here.
Recently, we partnered with Vanderbilt Athletics to create videos highlighting three students who interned in the Athletic department during the Fall 2018 semester. Check out the stories of Rob, Devon, and Elise below. We are so proud of our student athlete interns!